From a European to a US Congressman:
Dear Congressman Peter King,
I heard your interview on the BBC 1pm radio news programme on 30 May 2006. Among other things you expressed the view that the events of 9/11 meant that the USA was more aware of the seriousness of the so-called “war” against terrorism than Europeans who had not experienced terrorism on such a scale.
I assume, perhaps wrongly, that you must be aware of the terrorist attacks that have taken place in different European countries over very many years, since long before 9/11. Basque atrocities in Spain, bombs on the metro in Paris, murders by the Red Brigade in Germany and nearly 20 years of terrorist murders in Greece are some which immediately come to mind. But, above all, IRA bombings, in Northern Ireland and mainland Britain, and assassinations ofBritish officials serving in foreign countries, must be very familiar to you with your connections with Noraid. I see from its website that Noraid accuses the British Government of subjecting 50% of the population of Northern Ireland to terrorism and that you are one of several Congressmen signing a letter sponsored by an organisation which, in common with a great many other British people, I have found terrifying for years. Like most Londoners I have had to wonder every time my children went out whether today would be the day when their lives would be ended or damaged for ever by some new IRA outrage. In many ways it was worse than the German Blitz on London during the second world war, which I also experienced. At least then we knew who our enemy was. One of the reasons for the warm sympathy felt and expressed all over Europe for our American friends after 9/11 was that we Europeans know from long and bitter experience how it feels to be the victims of such a terrible attack. It’s a pity that those Americans who earlier supported the IRA and condoned its murders of innocent people in Ireland and Britain couldn’t feel the same understanding for its victims.
Congressman, please don’t lecture me about terrorism.
8 June 2006